Translation of the text: Selection of the translation of Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"


Two years ago, I translated "The Road to Serfdom" published by the China Social Sciences Press, translated by Wang Mingyi and Feng Xingyuan, reportedly the director and deputy director of the Commercial Press Foreign Translation Group. However, I must confess that the quality of the translation is really poor. For friends who are interested in reading this book but have not yet started, my advice is to quickly stay away from this translation. It's not about the individuals, but the work itself.

My top recommendation is to read the original English version of "The Road to Serfdom," followed by using AI technology to provide a bilingual Chinese-English translation version (thanks to the internet and technological advancements), and then I recommend the translation by Yin Haiguang titled "The Road to Serfdom."

Yin Haiguang's translation has many advantages, such as Yin Haiguang's profound understanding of freedom complementing Hayek's content, as well as his use of markers like "this is important" to remind readers of key points. However, we cannot ignore the shortcomings of this translation, as Yin Haiguang interprets with a certain bias, which may lead to some partiality. Additionally, he has condensed chapters and even left out "less relevant" chapters untranslated. For further understanding of Yin Haiguang, you can read "The Correspondence of Yin Haiguang and Lin Yusheng."

The background of this book is that after a series of major events such as World War I, the Russian October Revolution, the Great Depression, World War II, etc., many political parties and groups in various countries began to question the political and economic models of the time. The socialist ideology emerged, with many believing that socialism was the future direction. In this context, Hayek stepped forward and proclaimed that such a path was nothing but the road to serfdom.

Of course, the socialism referred to in the book does not completely align with today's socialism, which is something to be mindful of and not equate the two simplistically. However, while reading, we cannot help but be touched by the implications—haven't we experienced these things before? Aren't we currently experiencing them? This is a thought-provoking and intriguing aspect to ponder.

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